Where: Cyprus (Larnaca, Limassol, Pafos, Troodos Mountains, Lefkosia); Northern Cyprus (Lefkoşa, Girne, Gazimağusa, Varosha)
Transport: Airlines, Bus, Car
Who: One backpacker
Currency: Euro, Turkish Lira
This itinerary takes you through some of the best places around Cyprus and Northern Cyprus for ten days, but if you have a few days more then include some of the other wonders of the country as well.
| Divided island and our trip
The island of Cyprus is divided in to two “countries”. The Republic of Cyprus (mentioned here as Cyprus) and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (mentioned here as TRNC or Northern Cyprus).
Although recognized only by Turkey, and no other UN-countries recognize TRNC, it takes the norther part of this island, and we are calling it a country because it has its own government, border controls and currency (although TRNC uses Turkish Lira, as opposed to Euro used in Cyprus).
This itinerary covers all places around both the countries – Cyprus and Northern Cyprus.
| Covid-19 Requirements
Republic of Cyprus – At the time of writing, fully vaccinated travelers were allowed in Cyprus without any PCR/Antigen tests required. Every traveler must fill in an online record of their travels at CyprusFlightPass before entering Cyprus. It takes a few mins to receive the QR code that you’ll need to board the flight from your departure city. This was strictly checked at all departure and transit airports. For non-vaccinated travelers, a PCR test is required 72-hours prior to departure.
Northern Cyprus – If you are entering from the Republic of Cyprus, or via the Ercan airport, there are different rules applicable at the time of writing. Depending on your departure country, you may be required to quarantine in addition to the mandated PCR/Antigen test results taken 72 hours prior to entering. Check out the TRNC government website for the latest updates.
Make sure to check if you need a visa to travel to Cyprus. Although Cyprus is an EU member state, it is not a part of the Schengen Area, which means you may need to apply for a visa.
Entering the island from the Northern Cyprus via Ercan airport (which serves flights only to Turkey) is considered illegal entry into Cyprus by the Republic authorities. Our recommendation is to enter the island via Larnaca airport (or any other airport on the south side of the island). And then head north via the various land-border crossings.
| Crossing between Cyprus and North Cyprus
From Republic of Cyprus to North Cyprus – If you plan to visit the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (or North Cyprus, or TRNC), which is the occupied territory of Cyprus, and recognized only by Turkey, via the land border crossings, then you will NOT need a separate visa, irrespective of what citizenship you hold.
It’s a simple, straight-forward process to walk past the UN-authored buffer zones from south to north.
From North Cyprus to Republic of Cyprus – walking back into Republic of Cyprus via the land-border crossings, you will need the Cyprus visa (which you will already have considering you’d have landed in RoC). The authorities will check the entry stamp in your passport to make sure you have not entered the island from the north side.
Here are some tips that I experienced on my trip to Cyprus:
- Cash or cards – Credit cards are accepted everywhere in the country (both south and north). ATMs and currency exchange centers are located almost everywhere in the big cities. Small town and villages expect cash, than credit cards. The Republic of Cyprus uses Euro as their currency, whereas the North Cyprus uses Turkish Lira (but Euro is accepted as well).
- Transportation – Taxis are expensive on the south side, but very cheap on the north side. Shared buses run on North side, and Intercity buses run on the south side. Ride-share apps like Uber does not work at the time of writing.
- Utilities & others
- Tap water is safe to drink on both south and north side, although avoid tap water on the north side. One liter bottle of water from a local market will cost EUR 2 on south, and TRY 5 on north side.
- Wi-fi – Available almost everywhere!
- Mobile services – The SIM card bought in either side of the island will not work on the other side. Most places in the divided-capital of Nicosia will work because of the proximity of network towers. PrimeTel in Republic of Cyprus comes at 17€ for 10GB of data for 30 days. KKTC in North Cyprus comes at TRY 150 for 10GB of data for 30 days.
I booked hotels before traveling to Cyprus. These were booked after reviewing them on Google, TripAdvisor, booking.com and WikiTravel.
|Larnaca||Le Mat Hostel||$85||EUR 73 for two nights. Private room with ensuite bathroom. No breakfast included.|
|Limassol||Metropole Hotel||$76||EUR 64 per night. Private room with ensuite bathroom. No breakfast included.|
|Paphos||Pyramos Hotel||$36.50||Private room with ensuite bathroom. Free breakfast included.|
|Lefkosia||Kipros Accommodation||$48||EUR 40 per night. Double bed room with ensuite bathroom. No breakfast included.|
|Lefkoşa||TasEV||$42||EUR 36 per night. Double bed room with ensuite bathroom. Free breakfast included.|
|Girne||Lord’s Residence||$41||EUR 34 per night. Private room with ensuite bathroom. Free breakfast included.|
|Gazimağusa||Altun Tabya Vintage Hotel||$34||EUR 28 per night. Private room with ensuite bathroom. Free breakfast included.|
|San Francisco (SFO) to Frankfurt (FRA) to Larnaca (LCA)
Larnaca (LCA) to Frankfurt (FRA) to San Francisco (SFO)
|United Airlines and Lufthansa||$1,720.00||Return flight. Economy.|
Planning & Information
Tips, info & details of planning.
Day 1 – NEXT »
Arriving in Larnaca. Old town and around.
Day 2 – NEXT »
Salt lake, Kamares aqueduct, and exploring towns around Larnaca.